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First female Palestinian pastor ordained in Jerusalem

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A female Palestinian pastor, Sally Azar, has made history when she became the first woman to be ordained in the Holy Land in a Lutheran Church ceremony in the Old City of Jerusalem.

With her ordination, Azar, a Palestinian Christian and member of the Lutheran World Federation, will now head the English-speaking congregation at the Church of the Redeemer, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) said.

Her ordination on Sunday was held before a packed crowd inside the church in occupied east Jerusalem’s Old City.

“The rite of ordination is an honour. The chance to be ordained as a woman in my church is an added honour.

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“I am happy to be a part of history and gender equity in my church. It is exciting, but there is some uncertainty, as well.

“I do not expect this to be an easy road. “I will be assigned to the ELCJHL English-speaking congregation in Jerusalem. I will also be responsible for bridging the Arabic-speaking congregation with the English-speaking congregation and working with the youth, which is important to me,” Azar told LWF after the epoch event.

Azar graduated from the Near East School of Theology in Lebanon in 2018 before heading to Germany where she studied Intercultural Theology at the University of Gottingen.

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